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Scrum V people - Gareth Charles

Get to know the team who make the Scrum V show...

Gareth Charles (right) commentating with Phil Bennett

Gareth is the man behind the microphone.

When you watch the rugby on BBC TV or tune into BBC Radio Wales/Radio Cymru, there's a good chance that you will be listening to his expert commentary.

He is a book of knowledge and knows just about everything there is to know about the world of rugby.

Indeed, the next time you listen to him, try and count the number of different facts, figures or pieces of information that he manages to weave into his commentary!

How did you get into it?

I left university with a degree in Welsh and a qualification in teacher training.

I didn't fancy going into teaching, so I got a job as a news and sports reporter with CBC Radio, the station before Red Dragon came along.

I started to do some rugby commentary, but seemed to be turning my hand to all sorts of different things, including rock music programmes in Welsh!

I spent around three years there, before joining BBC Radio Cymru as a news sub-editor.

From there, I started to work on Saturdays for the sports department.

Sport is a real passion of mine, so it was great to get an opportunity to be part of it.

After getting a taste for it, I decided that it was something that I wanted to do on a full-time basis, so I became a freelance journalist, working on both television and radio.

I rejoined the BBC Sport Wales department as a full-time reporter and I have worked my way up to become the rugby correspondent and main commentator.

Your best and worst moments?

Doing what I do, I have seen and experienced some fantastic things.

I have covered three World Cups and - despite Wales' efforts - had a great time working on them.

I have been lucky enough to go on two Lions tours - New Zealand in 1993 and Australia in 2001.

Indeed, one of the best moments that I have ever had was when the Lions won at the Gabba.

On a more personal note, being a Ponty boy the trip to Brive was good!

Without a doubt the worst moment that I have had was doing the commentary on Cardiff v Swansea on 13 December 1997 - the game when Gwyn Jones got the neck injury that ended his career.

Gwyn is a very good friend of mine, and it was incredibly difficult to hold back the tears and carry on commentating.

Advice to anyone interested in doing your job?

You have always got to have something to say about every player on the field, because you never know who's going to be the centre of attention.

And, likewise, make sure that your facts are correct - no fact is better than a wrong one!

It helps to have a genuine interest in or love for the game - after all, you are the one that has to relay what's happening on the pitch.

see also
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
27 Oct 08 |  Welsh
Scrum V's Commentator's Balls
09 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Scrum V people
14 Aug 07 |  Welsh

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